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“…what it is about the idea of detoxifying that captures the public imagination? Ben Goldacre wrote an article earlier this year that I think really picks up on what’s going on. He talks about the notions of purification and redemption as recurring themes in religious rituals, both currently and in the past. He says: “In our own country, we seek purification from material indulgence. We fill our faces with drink, bad food, drugs and more. We know it’s wrong, so we crave ritualistic protection from the consequences, performing public 'transitional rituals', commemorating our return to healthier behavioural norms”. Goldacre refers to the UK, but this could be extrapolated to North American culture too. In this broader, cultural perspective detoxification has a ritualistic (almost superstitious) purpose; it may be used as a way of punishing and/or protecting oneself from everyday indulgences. This may explain why detox is so popular. Although there is little to no evidence for its concrete benefits, it may feed a more subconscious need.” Aysha Khan, Canadian National Post (6th November 2009) [Aysha Khan is a contributor to Skeptic North, the first Canada-wide blog for skeptics.]